Day 3, Oh What Glee

It’s JJ on the third day of the Coco’s Nuts promotion, taking over for Rey, who attended a social-distancing-respected luau last night and ended up drinking too many Mai-Tais.  Somehow, she ended up under the bed—wedged between the 4” between the floor and box spring.  She’s got an icepack plunked on her head.

Coco’s available for $0.99, not free, but close; what glee (yes well, it was a long night and the brain is a tad tired).

Coco’s Nuts is our second Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.  Today, through June 15th, it’s available for $0.99.  The three of us must prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo.  Nor did she kill her best friend, Eb Stretta.  Despite what the police believe, and the evidence suggests, we’re convinced that Buddy’s been set up.  As we seek clues and answers, we encounter a number of people who could conceivably killed both men.

Several persons hated Picolo, so finding the one who pulled the trigger is challenging.  As we try to find the culprit, we find ourselves in the dodgy world of gambling and debt collectors (who don’t mind breaking bones, if necessary).  Annia, Picolo’s daughter, owes a lot of money in Vegas and on Oahu, which may have inspired her to her to kill her father to obtain a sizeable inheritance.  Jimmy Junior, Picolo’s son, could have decided to take over his father’s multiple businesses before the old man passed of old age.  There’s also nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who’s been missing since the murders took place.  He’s a driver for Picolo and the odd little guy appears to play a principal piece in this challenging puzzle.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Of course Buddy Feuer didn’t do it. Who told you she did?” I demanded, already knowing who had tattled to Ricardo Mako Picolo. It could only have been one person: Kent “The Source” Winche.

“Winche,” the health-food freak confirmed, munching noisily, probably a mung-bean, pea-sprout muffin, his favorite according to an article I’d read earlier. “Actually, he said she was a person of interest . . . or did he say suspect? Whatever. He doesn’t believe she did it.”

I paced my kitchen like a tin duck target at a fair ground concession booth. Every time I passed the counter, I poked a trio of bananas perched in a white wicker basket.

It was hard to say why Jimmy Picolo’s slick (as in oil-spill, slippery-slimy) brother proved annoying. Maybe it was the self-satisfied, perpetually tanned face I’d viewed in photos. He sported a nose too perfect to have been born with. Evidently, he and his niece shared the same cosmetic surgeon. He was as handsome as his brother, but more a combination of Bobby Darren of T.J. Hooker fame and Ryo Ishibashi as Detective Toshihuru Kuroda in Suicide Club. Asian-cast root-beer brown eyes seemed to challenge; they, like the thin lips pulled into a smug smile, expressed a sense of superiority. As it had in interviews, the man’s mega ego blazed like a Times Square billboard.

“Thank heavens for the pretty boy’s support,” I responded wryly.

“He’s a big fan of Buddy’s.” Munch, munch. Crunch, crunch. Must be macadamias in that muffin, too. “Winche’ll give his eye teeth — letteralmente — to reinforce that she didn’t do it. He claims she could never kill anyone in a million years. She’s too cute.”

Too cute?

“He’s got a real thing for her. Anyway, with you helping, she shouldn’t worry herself none.” I could hear the simper. “I heard you girls did a solid job working the Howell case.”

“Really?” I was nonplussed.

“When I got your message, I had you checked out. I do that with everyone whose call I’m thinking of returning.”

When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and slurped. Was he also indulging in one of his famous wheatgrass-beetroot smoothies? “I got a proposition. You interested?”

“If it will clear our client’s name, of course,” I responded casually. Poke, poke. The bananas were beginning to look as if they’d encountered a frenzied chimp.

“Here’s what we’re going to do.”

We’re?

“We’re going to find the prick that killed my brother. The why would be a bonus, but the who is the important answer.”

I dropped onto counter stool and rested my chin on the granite counter. “What’s in it for you, Mr. Picolo?” Poke, poke. Oh-oh. The bananas lay on the polished hardwood floor like washed-up marine creatures. Button ambled over, pawed them, sniffed, and flopped onto the floor with a loud sigh.

“Like I said, knowing who killed my brother. The other guy who got rubbed out I could care less about . . . but his family would like to know, I’m sure. Anyway, I’ll add some incentives.”

“Incentives?” I asked, puzzled.

Ricardo’s laughter was reminiscent of microwaved popcorn: staccato, abrupt. Heh-heh. Heh-heh-heh. “Yeah, incentives. First one: twenty-five K.”

Nice incentive. “Second?”

“Coco Peterson’s tattoo and jewelry. It wouldn’t do for the cops to find them, would it?”

If I’ve encouraged some interest, please check out Coco’s Nuts out:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

My cousin’s back tomorrow, sans icepack.

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Two, 99¢ For You

Hey, it’s Rey on the second day of the Coco’s Nuts promotion—our second action-packed Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.  Today, through June 15th, it’s available for just $0.99.

In a nutshell, JJ, Linda and I have to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo.  And she certainly didn’t off her best friend, Eb Stretta.  Regardless what the police believe and the evidence suggests, we’re sure that Buddy’s been set up.  As we search for clues, we encounter a slew of possible suspects.

A lot of people hated Picolo enough to kill him, so finding the one who pulled the trigger is challenging.  As we try to find the killer, we take a few detours—into the dark and dangerous world of gambling and debt collectors, who’d just as easily break limbs if ya haven’t paid up as look at ya.  Annia, Picolo’s daughter, owes major dollars to dodgy dudes in Vegas and on Oahu.  Maybe this motivated her to kill her father; she could collect that sizeable inheritance.  Jimmy Junior, Picolo’s son, may have gotten over-eager to take over his father’s multiple businesses; he couldn’t wait for the old man to die of old age.  Then there’s nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who’s been missing since the murders took place.  He’s a driver for Picolo and the odd little guy appears to play a principal piece in this crazy puzzler.

If you’re interested, please check out Coco’s Nuts out:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

Catch ya tomorrow!

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day 5, 99¢ No Jive

It’s [still] Linda on the fifth and final day of the Forever Poi promotion, our third Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.  Today, it’s still available for only $0.99.

JJ, Rey and I are hired to investigate two art gallery fires that also claimed two lives: gallery owner and partner, Carlos Kawena, and former queenpin Mary-Louise Crabtree.  The day before the fire, Carlos had a fiery break-up with his long-time partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Could James-Henri have murdered his long-time lover to collect insurance money?  Considering Mary-Louise’s dicey past, had a former foe murdered her?

The three of us encounter several potential suspects and most have ties to the art world—like beautiful Cholla Poniard, James-Henri’s half-sister.  She’s a mysterious woman with a dark, intriguing past.  Artists associated with her have died.  Two of her divorces have ended with ugly consequences for the exes.  As both men advise when asked, Cholla is a dangerous woman who will have her way at any cost.

If you’d like to check out Forever Poi, please go to:

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

         NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day One, One More

Hey, it’s Rey on the first day of the Coco’s Nuts promotion—our second action-packed Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.  Today, through June 15th, it’s available for just $0.99 (can you spell b-a-r-g-a-i-n?).

JJ, Linda and I have to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo.  Nor did she kill her best friend, Eb Stretta.  And despite what the police believe and the evidence suggests, we’re convinced that Buddy’s been set up.  In our search for answers, we come across a slew of suspects.

A lot of people hated Picolo enough to kill him but finding the one who pulled the trigger proves tough.  As we follow clues to locating the killer, we travel along a few detours—like the world of gambling and debt collectors, also known as limb-breakers.  Picolo’s daughter, Annia, owes thousands of dollars to some nasty folks in Vegas and on Oahu.  Maybe this motivated her to kill her father—so that she could collect a sizeable inheritance.  Jimmy Junior, Picolo’s son, may have been super eager to take over his father’s multiple businesses—and couldn’t wait for the old man to pass naturally.  What about nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who’s been MIA since the murders occurred?  A driver for Picolo, the odd little pest, er, fellow, appears to be a major piece in this perplexing puzzler.

Yeah, it was challenging–and dangerous–but we had some fun solving this case, too.  e0c519dfe1f34fcf1cd12601fe696bd5If you’re interested, please check out Coco’s Nuts out:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cocos-Nuts-Tyler-Colins/dp/1078374368

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day 4, One More

It’s Linda on the fourth day of the Forever Poi promotion—our third Triple Threat Investigation Agency case.  Today, through June 12th, it’s available for a trifling $0.99.

JJ, Rey and I are engaged by an insurance adjuster to investigate two art gallery fires that also claimed the lives of gallery owner and partner, Carlos Kawena, and Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin.  The three of us meet [if not clash with] a number of potential suspects.  The day before the fire, Carlos had a fiery break-up with his long-time partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Might James-Henri have murdered his long-time lover to collect insurance money?  Considering Mary-Louise’s dicey past, had a former foe murdered her?

The art world is a curious milieu replete with equally curious characters—some who don’t want us asking questions or poking our noses where they don’t belong.

Allow me to provide another excerpt:

“One call came from a burner. The area code was from the San Francisco Bay area, but who knows if that’s the actual case. The other with the shot, if that’s what it was, came from a Chicago lounge called The Soul Cole Train Express Lounge.”

Chicago? “I’m sure it was a shot.”

“I called, sweetie, and the owner said there’d been no shootings in his bar for several years.”

Damn. Who’d call from there? Had it been a wrong number—no, it couldn’t have been, because he’d mentioned “a deadly dealing” I’d had with someone he knew. The Soul Cole Train Express Lounge . . . Cole Train . . . As in Coltrane? He’d had to have been referring to the deceased Mr. Coltrane Hodgson Coltrane. Interesting that it was Chicago, once home to Xavier and Carlos and James-Henri. Was there a relation? Or was this sheer coincidence?

And what was Cash doing in San Fran—oh, bloody hell. What did it matter? The guy was an agent; he could be anywhere at any given time. But so much for Florida.

Sinking into a funky, zero-gravity leather massage recliner, a new condo addition (a Reynalda Fonne-Werde must have), Gail grabbed an icy bottle of Longboard from a fat metal bucket on a new, sleek and shiny coffee table.

“You had another call in addition to the one from the ‘associate’?” Rey slipped into the corner of a 60s-styled sectional sofa.

I was seated on the floor before the coffee table, Piggaletto at my side and Bonzo at his. Button and Bonzo were BFFs. Hopefully, my little princess wouldn’t be jealous with the new friendship. “I had a voice-mail from someone and I asked Gail to check it out. I was curious.”

Rey gazed suspiciously from me to Gail, but instead of commenting, as was custom when she was curious or skeptical, nibbled a nacho.

It was two hours since we’d left James-Henri and five minutes since Gail’s arrival. Linda was at Crabby Crabs. Hopefully, she’d have better luck there than in Kailua. The only thing gleaned from the afternoon visit to the Windward beach community was from Cam’s friends, Paula and Paulo: they’d confirmed that he frequented the café when in town, but they’d not seen him recently. Of course, it was entirely conceivable the young sister and brother were lying to protect a friend.

“Tad said he’d try to find where the burner was purchased and if he lucks in, he’ll keep digging.” Gail dipped a blue-corn nacho chip into a huge bowl of guacamole and eyed it hungrily. “He’s like a dog with a bone.”

A stomach stitch stole my breath. Cash had claimed the same of me.

Rey watched the pig with a critical eye. “What was Linda thinking?”

“He’s cute,” I said in his defense, tugging a fuzzy ear playfully. He pressed his snout into my thigh.

“Very,” Gail agreed. “Where is Linda, anyway?”

“Working on one of two cases.” Rey gave a quick rundown.

And I offered one re Cam. Then I relayed what little we’d learned about the gallery fires.

“I can fill in a few small holes,” Gail said, leaning forward. “Did you know Ossature had a gallery in Kahala and that it burned down five years ago?”

Rey confirmed that we did. “According to the police, the fire was an accident.”

With a nod, she munched another nacho. “I have some family facts. His mother, Paris-born Josephine Ossature Illege, moved to live with Casper “Money Bags” Reede in Switzerland, near the French border, two years after James-Henri was born. They traveled a lot. He owned a house here on Oahu, a condo in Spain, and one in Florida.

“His biological father, however, was William Wilford Vaunt, a British eccentric, who also fathered a girl named Cholla. James-Henri and Cholla met later in life, at an art showing in Paris, not long after she graduated from London Business School.”

“We met Cholla recently,” Rey said, wrinkling her nose. “An Audry Hepburn ‘Gigi’ wannabe.”

“I hear she’s a stunner.”

“And then some,” my cousin said flatly.

“We also met Richard Vaunt recently,” I said. “I wonder if he’s a relation.”

“Ekeka’s the name he goes by,” Rey added.

“William Wilford Vaunt was quite a playboy and not one to settle down with the same woman for too long,” Gail grinned. “Vaunt—or Wil-Wil as he was later called in his circle—ended up permanently on Oahu in the late 80s.”

I smiled wryly and Rey snickered.

“Vaunt ended up marrying Richard’s, uh, Ekeka’s mother, Elizabeth Mary Oha, who hailed from California originally. Unfortunately, she was shish-kabobed by a tree branch during an intense thunderstorm. Vaunt married once more—to Leslie-Annabelle Scanlon—and was killed not long after.”

“And how was he killed?” Rey asked, curious.

“He hit his head on the upper deck of his classic sailboat, a ’34 ketch, and fell into the ocean. They never found his body.”

Rey and I gazed at each other, lips drawn. Interesting.

If I’ve sparked some interest, and I hope I have, please check us out here:

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share\

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day 3, for You, Not Me

It’s Linda on the third day of the Forever Poi promotion, an exciting Triple Threat Investigation case, if I do say so myself.  Today, through June 12th, it’s available for a mere $0.99.

We’ve been engaged by an insurance adjuster to investigate two art gallery arsons, which also claimed the lives of gallery owner and partner, Carlos Kawena, and former queenpin, Mary-Louise Crabtree.  JJ and Rey and I encounter several possible suspects.  The day before the fire, Carlos had a heated break-up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Could James-Henri have killed his long-time lover to collect insurance money?  Given Mary-Louise’s sketchy past, might a former foe have murdered her?

Perhaps we can tantalize you with an excerpt . . .

“Why do you suppose he’s not returned calls?” Rey asked as we followed the Jag along Kapiolani, five cars behind. “Guilt? Sadness? A combination of?”

“Only he can answer that.”

“Who’s the woman looking very Audrey Hepburn?”

“The same one I’ve seen twice already.”

“But who is she?”

“Your guess is—”

“As good as mine, yeah.”

“Xavier mentioned a half sister. Maybe that’s her.”

“From what little I’ve seen, there’s absolutely no resemblance. James-Henri has a dumpling nose and a donut-round face.”

“And he has hazel eyes while hers are powder-blue,” I added. “I did say ‘maybe’.”

“She’s certainly very attractive. And that designer red lipstick is awesome.”

The sporty car pulled into one of three empty spaces before a row of unexceptional townhouse-condos near Ward and Prospect. Most had once been dusty pink and were now just plain dusty. I maneuvered into a parking spot on the street.

Rey scanned stores and checked her cell. “That’s Carlos’ place.”

“He did have financial issues according to Ald.”

She gestured the duo. “They don’t appear to want to do much but yak and watch.”

“Maybe they know we’re back here.”

“Then why stop?”

“You got me,” I replied with a fleeting smile, keeping a vigilant eye on the two lest they shot off again.

“He must have a key.”

I concurred.

“It’s odd that Carlos lived here and James-Henri there. I mean, they were lovers, at least until recently. I can’t imagine one allowing the other to live in such a . . . a blah place.”

“Blah?” I grinned.

“Ugly. Cheap. It’s not in keeping with the lifestyle or persona he was projecting.”

“You mean successful gallery owner?” I asked dryly, noting that neither sportscar occupant appeared anxious or concerned.

Rey grunted into her cell when taiko drumming announced a call. “We got James-Henri and an Audrey Hepburn wannabe in sight. What’s up? You at the office?” She glanced at me and shrugged. After a few uh-huhs, she disconnected. “Lindy-Loo wants us to head home when we’re able.”

“Is she all right?”

“She’s something, that’s for sure,” my cousin replied flatly and gestured. “Our prey aren’t doing much.”

“Either are we,” I said regretfully.

“To hell with that.” With Reynalda Fonne-Werde melodramatic (reckless) flair, my cousin sprang from the Jeep and strode purposefully to the Jag.

Three minutes later, she returned with an expression wavering between triumph and self-satisfaction. “James-Henri’ll meet us at two at a coffee house on Bishop just off Queen. Cholla, his ‘sister’, will not.” My cousin smiled haughtily. “That gal’s a stunner and f’g snooty. That Borgia ring you mentioned looks like the real deal. And those diamond studs have to be four carats. Besides a slight but obvious French accent, she likes to throw around French phrases like bien sûr and c’est pareil.”

“Is her accent as real as Ekeka’s British one?” I asked drolly.

“It sounds legit.” She swung into the passenger’s seat. “Let’s see what James-Henri has to say when we grill him.”

“So, Cous, do tell: what are they doing here?”

“Deciding if they should enter Carlos’ place to grab something.”

“Such as?”

“A little noir book.”

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day Two, 99 cents for You

Aloha Tuesday.  It’s Linda again, plugging the Forever Poi promotion.

Our last case, Forever Poi, is available for a mere $0.99 today . . . right through June 12.

Poi is our third official case (the fourth mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series).  We’ve been employed by insurance adjuster Xavier Shillingford to investigate the torching of two art galleries, which also claimed two lives—gallery owner and partner, Carlos Kawena, and Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin.  Who was the actual/intended victim?  And who was collateral damage?

JJ and Rey and I encounter several possible suspects.  The day before the fire, Carlos had a nasty break-up with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.   Could James-Henri have killed his long-time lover to collect insurance?  Given Mary-Louise’s sketchy past, might a former foe have murdered her?

The three of us learn a lot about the art world and meet a few intriguing [if not treacherous] art-world individuals.  Watching our backs is just one of our worries.

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Day 1, A Modicum

I hope this post finds you doing amazingly well.  It’s Linda here, for the Forever Poi promotion.

Our last case, Forever Poi, is available for a modicum—a mere $0.99 today through June 12!  So, if you’ve been saving those pennies for a rainy day, maybe this is that day?

WPpennies2

In the event you’re not familiar with it, it’s our third official (paying) assignment and the fourth mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series.  We’re hired by insurance adjuster Xavier Shillingford to assist in the investigation of a double arson which burned down two art galleries, and also claimed two lives: Carlos Kawena, a gallery partner/owner and Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin.

It soon becomes evident that the fires were not set by a professional torch but by someone wanting to kill one or both of the deceased.  JJ and Rey and I encounter a plethora of possible culprits.  The day before the fire, Carlos had an “ugly break-up” with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  Severe financial issues existed, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about Mary-Louise Crabtree?  Given her sketchy past, might a former foe have murdered her?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?

A challenging case to say the least.  I hope you find it as exciting as we did!

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.

Back tomorrow!

When You’re Lanai Lounging . . . Auld Lang Syne (Old Long Since)

Rey, Linda and I have more time on our hands these days, as many do.  We’ve gotten quite used to lanai lounging; I wonder if we’ll find the energy/motivation when the time arrives to return to “normal” . . . whatever that may entail.

We were chatting the other day about the weeds that need pulling, shrubs that require trimming, and the pool that hasn’t yet been fixed (poor thing is missing tiles like a youngster missing milk teeth).  After stifling a few yawns, we drifted to discussions revolving around childhood days—those funny/silly moments that we’d carry to our golden years and beyond.  Rey thought it a great idea to share, so that’s what we’re doing on this fine June day.

Linda will start us off.

I don’t recall many good times, I must confess.  My mother died young, during squally weather, when she was rundown by a vegetable truck (cabbages and beets, to be precise).  My brother Lido and my sister Loretta and I didn’t really much like each other and have only recently made efforts to be “family”.  But that said, I do recall an occasion when I must have been seven or eight and my siblings and I were seated at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  I don’t know what started it—most likely Cousin Ivers sucking back too much bourbon (again)—but one of those asinine TV food fights began.  Every last person seated at that immense table ended up covered in some sort of foodstuff, myself included (I sported gravy and green beans).  It became even more comical when inebriated Cousin Ivers dragged drunk Uncle Max (not a true uncle) onto the lumpy, bedraggled lawn.  A colossal brawl erupted, resulting in a free-for-all, the likes of which the neighbors—and police—had never seen.  You know, I’ve never looked at a turkey dinner quite the same since.

And Rey?

I have to go with the time Margaret-Ann, this pig-tailed cutie in fourth grade, set her baby blues on Merck, this guy I really liked.  She’d smile and flip her thick, satin bow-tied tails, and tee-hee-hee at all the right times.  Small wonder he started liking her too—and turned away from me.  Gag.  I felt a need to let him see what a fake she was.  So-o, I made sure something “accidentally” fell off her desk.  When she leaned over to pick it up, I stuck a huge multi-dollar wad of gum on her seat.  Oddly, she didn’t notice right away.  When she did, which was outside the classroom, she cursed a mean streak right in front of Merck.  Who’d have thought a fourth grader could utter words like that (never mind that she looked like she could smack the guilty party straight across the schoolyard)?  Given he came from a rather religious family, he was surprised, and not in a good way.  That crushed that mushrooming relationship.  He-he.  Yeah . . . that was a very fun day.

Lastly, me.

I’d have to say a fun/funny childhood memory involved Rey and me at Uncle Flex’s Ogunquit cottage.  I may have mentioned him re another incident—the one where he lost one eyebrow (a fox-moth caterpillar-furry one).  This transpired after that.  (I’m surprised he’d not become more wary of the two of us.)  We were in our early teens and not getting along, as was the norm.  This time we’d decided to be constructive and grill dinner on the handsome Weber grills that Uncle Flex and Cousin Balo used so well.  The hot dogs and hamburgers were scorched beyond recognition, one of the grills was knocked over when Rey and I got into “fisticuffs” about who burned what.  Anything within reach burst into flames almost immediately (the patio and railings were old and dry).  Henri, a husky Havanese, never barked, but hearing the commotion, yapped up a storm and raced from the cottage, followed by frantic Uncle Flex, into the nearby woods.  Long crazy story short, the cottage did survive—for the most part.  Henri was never heard from again, though, and Uncle Flex moved across the Big Pond not long after that.  And Rey and I were forbidden for the next three decades to be together in the same room, cottage, state.

WPA1COVER FPoiHere’s to old/long/since memories.  Funny how they can prompt grins and rolling-on-the-floor laughter . . . [much] later.

Take care everyone—continue to stay safe and be well.

Interview with the Imaginative Jina S. Bazzar

Fellow writer and blogger, Jina S. Bazzar, is the imaginative author of the Roxanne Fosch series.

She’s also a mother, a baker, a chocolate fiend, a coffee enthusiast, and an occasional poet.  A wanderer in this vast world, she’s another body with a passion for the written word. There is no boundary she can’t or won’t cross, and no limit she can’t push.  As Jina avows, her mind “is my passport, my thoughts my mode of transportation”.

A little background: Jina was born and raised in a small quiet town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she experienced a happy and fulfilling childhood.  And like most writers, her love of books began at a young age . . . but, unlike most authors, she never aspired to become one.

Thankfully, she did, however . . . so let’s learn a little more about Jina the writer.

How do you get your creativity to flow (mine’s a few blasts of caffeine, LOL)? What motivates you to keep writing? 

I need that caffeine to simply function on a daily basis, so I’m not going to count it. My imagination runs wild when I’m doing household chores, baking, listening to loud music, or even exercising. Basically, I need to be doing something. As for what motivates me, I guess it’s the same thing that makes me reach for a book – the need to put things behind and go elsewhere. It could be escapism, but it’s also the pleasure of imagining and exploring endless possibilities. And when I have that first draft, messy as it is, the sense I’ve accomplished something is great. I love patting myself on the back 😉

A common but significant question: what, or who, has inspired you the most as a writer?

I’m not really sure. I’ve read so many books, I’ve admired so many writers, I can’t say one or two have inspired me. To be honest, becoming a writer was a surprise, even to me. When I first began writing, I had absolutely no desire to let anyone read it, much less get published.

Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies? If so, what? 

Not really. I’m the kind of writer who lets the story be guided by instinct. I don’t pause to correct mistakes or plug in holes (though if I decide something in the plot should change, I leave a note between parentheses on the current page). Once my muse slows, I might go back a chapter or two and try to kick start the lazy beast. It usually works, but if not, I get to tidy up some plots. When I’m done with several drafts, and the story is more or less smooth, I like to go back to the beginning and turn on my screen reader to automatic. It’s amazing how many things you can catch just by the way the story flows.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world—real or otherwise—for a year while writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Somewhere where it’s quiet, the weather is moderate, and nothing requires my attention. If you know where that is, let me know!

What do you believe is most important to a story: dynamic characters, intriguing or exciting plot turns and twists, superior dialogue, or spectacular locations/backgrounds?

I think a great book needs all the above. But if I were to choose, I’d say great characters and a great plot are crucial.

Do you have a preferred genre to read and write?

Fantasy is my favorite, and so far, all my published works lie in that area.

Which of your Roxanne Fosch covers do you like best?

They’re all variations of the same cover, with different fonts and coloring, so it’s hard to choose.

On a similar note, which of your Roxanne Fosch books is your favorite?

Heir of Ashes took longer to write, and I can honestly say I have entire scenes memorized – that’s how many times I read it. Heir of Doom has all the scenes and actions I wanted to write for Heir of Ashes but that wouldn’t make sense as a first book. And Heir of Fury has the romance, the friendship, and all the truths. I’d say we have a tie.

What about your favorite character in the series?

I’m assuming the main character doesn’t count? I’d say Diggy, Vicky and Zantry are my favorites. They all have a special place in my heart.

Please share how you came to write this series; where did your inspiration came from?

Heir of Ashes began as a pastime project, something I felt compelled to do when I was in a reading slump. No book I picked was the right one, so I decided to create the right one for myself. It was clunky, full of holes, bad grammar and typos and flat dialogue. When I picked it up to read, the plot held me, and I began making changes and fixing mistakes. By the time I was on the sixth or seventh draft, the story sounded good, but it was still clunky. The first chapter I wrote for Heir of Ashes is now the third, while the third was the first. The last few chapters didn’t exist either, as well as some chapters in the middle. It took years for the story to resemble a book. I’d pick it up, fix a chapter, a scene, or add something new to the story, then put it away for months. And then, one day, I picked it up and found that the story was better than some of the books I read. And that’s when I decided I was going to get it published. I actually believed all I needed was send my query off and the publisher would be dying to publish my book. And when I discovered publishers didn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, I only shrugged and looked for the most famous literary agency (because you try the best first, right?) and queried exactly one agent. When that didn’t work, I queried another, then ten or fifteen more. Sadly, they all rejected my brilliant work, so I put it aside. It took me a few months before I pushed up my sleeves and decided I’d do it myself, and here I am.

What would you like others to know about Jina the writer . . . and Jina the person?

Hmmm. The writer in me is actually outgoing and enjoys interacting, while Jina the person is an introvert who’d rather stay isolated (I’m fairing pretty good with the pandemic, by the way). We’re both persistent. In my day to day, if there’s something I want, I’ll keep at it until I get it done. The writer in me is the same, I’ll keep pecking until I get the writing done. In my day to day, I’m a multi-tasker, able to stay attentive and observant while doing other things (I.e., keep an ear out for the mischief the kids are causing while talking, listening to music and so on); but the writer tends to shut everything down when working on a book. My thoughts are never linear, meaning there’s usually a bunch of things going on in my head at the same time. The writer is the same, able to listen to multiple voices at the same time, pick up conversations and follow it down the line, discarding it if it clashes with something in the plot, all while typing. Because of that, if I stop or get interrupted, I tend to completely forget my thoughts.

And that made me sound completely insane, I know 😉

Disclaimer: If I’m crazy, it’s because my kids drive me crazy and I’ve memorized the directions without their help, and not because of the voices!

WPJinaUseIf you haven’t read any of Jina’s books, I highly recommend them.  They’re “fantastically” fantastic—taking you to another realm for that much-wanted, much-needed escape.

https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/jina-s-bazzar

https://www.amazon.com/Jina-S.-Bazzar/e/B07B2989VT%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share